Hanami is an important part of Japanese culture which means flower viewing, and generally in this country means cherry blossoms (Sakura). It is a century old custom originally limited to the elite Japanese Imperial Court and I am most thankful this is now open to everyone. This is something one should not miss while in Japan!
Hubby and I were privileged to go to Mt. Yaedake in Motobu, Okinawa to enjoy the cherry blossoms up and close. Sakura in Okinawa is the earliest blossom which can be enjoyed from late January to early February while the rest of Japan had to wait until April or May. We availed of Kadena Information Tickets and Travel (ITT) tour services where we only have to conveniently hop on a bus without the hassle of driving and spoil ourselves with a good view of the island.
Mt.Yaedake is the second highest mountain in Okinawa. The street that goes up to the top is 4.5 kilometers. Driving your car to the top is optional although it is most enjoyed by walking to get intimate with the cherry blossoms as you walk past 4000 Kanhi-Zakura Cherry trees that line both sides of the street by the Okinawa-US Friendship Association as a way of saying thank you to the people of Motobu when the military installation on top of the mountain closed. Once you get to the mountaintop, be prepared to be amazed with a spectacular view of the town and the Ie Island that will surely take your breath away.
The day we did our Hanami marked the start of the 35th Annual Yaedake Sakura Matsuri, so we were fortunate to watch a showcase of different cultural performances. How did I get this lucky to be here in this country rich in tradition and culture.?
Some girls dream to get their marriage proposal under a cherry blossom. I do not blame them because it truly feels magical when you see one. But girls, you can have all the cherry blossoms you want. They are all beautiful and oh so enchanting. But I already have my adorable hubby who proposed in front of the Hadrian Wall after 3 long days of hiking and that is for me my own sweet fairy tale.
And I got kissed by hubby under a cherry blossom. Life is good.